Sunday, 20 March 2011

Some unexpected Reid, Baxendale & Colquhoun

Strolling round a Boot Fair yesterday morning, some bloke had a box of comics. Kind of stunned to find that they're all from the mid 70's and in really good condition. He had quite a lot of Marvel UK titles that i flicked through - which really did prove that memory cheats - and a lot of Buster and Cor!!'s from 1974 and 75.
So, got a few out of curiosity sake as i know i had Cor!! back then but don't think i read Buster.
Get them home and, how nice.
We have a lovely simple plot device of Snooper wanting to know what's in a shed. That's it. But with the fantastic, dynamic art of Leo Baxendale it's notched up in to the genius level. Its amazing what an effect he can make with just a few speed lines around things.
Speaking of genius level, there's some classic Ken Reid on Faceache too. I don't need to show you more than this title shot to show that off eh?
Pete's Pocket Army is one of those strips that seems to be a variation of so many others of the time - in this case, loner kid with tiny friends. Whereas General Jumbo had a group of model soldiers, here we have "Pete Parker" being mates with six aliens from the planet Liturnus. It's alright i suppose but Jumbo using tiny tanks and planes is more exciting than breaking a schoolboy out of a room. Lopez's art though is simply stunning, giving the (then) contempery tale a Dickensian feel.
Marney The Fox i've read about but never read and is an oddity to be sure. Part of it is a Lassie style tale of a lone fox up against wicked humans. What makes it distinctive is the occasional thought ballons from the fox himself. Yep, we're given an insight into the thought processes of the foxy lead, which at times are brief and work well: "Many faces! Many eyes! Bright... curious... staring!", but at others he's positively chatty, coming across as the teacher from Kung Fu: "Hated man has the mind of a sparrow! Cunning has worked... now for speed!"
Biggest and best suprise though is on yet another clone series, this time the "Famous Five/Secret Seven On Wheels" variation. I'm used to Jet Skaters over in Thunder but here we have "Sammy Brewster's Ski-Board Squad", which is basically the same except here they wear balaclava's. Doesn't matter though - its Joe Colquhoun on art duties, which INSTANTLY raises it up. Doesn't matter how duff the strip, Joe makes it class and worth reading.
Really enjoyed these issues - hope the guys there again next week.


Robert said...

Loving to see Joe Colquhoun doing something 'contemporary' (for the time). Didn't he also do 'Nipper' for Tiger for a while? He really made the character and setting look incredibly impoverished from what I remember.

Mangamax said...

Yep, he's up there with Lopez for showing the gritty side of life isn't he?